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Old 05-26-2008, 04:44 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 62overlander
I think it is 27 new, an axle dealer will correct us....
or a fighter jet pilot turned airstream genius will....
Zep is it not true that axles can be ordered new with any angle? So if you like the low rider look (I do very much ) it can be obtained and still have the suspension.
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Old 05-26-2008, 10:51 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 62overlander
or a fighter jet pilot turned airstream -hacker- will....
Zep is it not true that axles can be ordered new with any angle? So if you like the low rider look (I do very much ) it can be obtained and still have the suspension.
Yes, I believe Dexter will provide several angle selections. I considered raising my Caravel a little, due to the backwoods roads I sometimes boondock on, but didn't. There is some disagreement within the community on whether a bigger angle (higher frame, more down angle) reacts to potholes differently, eg, the less down angle will give you better ride quality, but harsher response to a step input, like a curb (up) or a pothole (down, but there is an "up" real quick). From a suspension mechanics perspective, you want more down angle for the "up's", which means the initial response would be pushing the wheel back instead of up, lessening the impulse up into the frame. On the other hand, the total travel in the arm would have the same limits, so if you use some of the travel to swing back, you lose some cushion in the vertical. Consequently, I don't think I'd go to more than 30 degrees down.

If the modern Airstreams use 27 degrees, I think that's why they arrived at this slightly higher down angle--it's a good compromise and probably fits better with the higher speeds we tow at today as compared to the 60's or 70's.

If you go with the "low rider" option, think twice--first, you got to worry about the tire hitting the top of the wheel well. Second, you need to be able to get the wheel/tire out of the wheel well to change it. I know lots of you have experienced the same difficulty I did--couldn't get the tire out of my 70 Caravel unless I deflated it because the axle was essentially frozen in a slightly up position.

If anyone knows the real physics of rubber suspension, maybe they can make a better informed input here. I know I'm stilling breaking the door bins on my Dometic fridge, which is making me nuts. Next step is 0.050 aluminum!

Zep
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Old 05-26-2008, 01:50 PM   #31
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The axles were not set up that way, I think they are just plain worn out. The PO had the trailer since 1990 and never did any suspension work. The PO had some 1/4 inch plate bent up and bolted to the bottom of the frame just forward of the bumper to give it something else to drag on besides the frame. I can see why you call yourselves Rivet Masters. I replaced rivets for a long time yesterday.

Thank you for your input Zeppelinium. I am getting ready to order some new axles and have been reading the threads on this and trying to figure out what I should get. I had considered going to 35 degrees for clearence. Michigan roads are a little rough and besides summer camping, I plan go up north for grouse and woodcock in the fall. Tent camping is fine, but I'm looking forward to "moving on up"! But I think you have changed my mind. I thinking #11 dexters, 12 inch drums, 27 degrees down. What weight rating would you use for a 1972 sovereign 31 foot, rear bath? I would guess the weight would be similar to your 1975. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 05-26-2008, 01:59 PM   #32
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I just ordered a new dexter axle (it should be here on the 30th) and there was only a few choices on the down angle 22.5 and then 35 but you can also order the with extra profile on the mount angle and I did order with 1 inch. I believe 3 inches is available also.
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Old 05-26-2008, 02:24 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerowood
I just ordered a new dexter axle (it should be here on the 30th) and there was only a few choices on the down angle 22.5 and then 35 but you can also order the with extra profile on the mount angle and I did order with 1 inch. I believe 3 inches is available also.

Which did you go with (22.5 or 35)? Which would you reccomend for a 72 31 foot sovereign? Do you have any suggestions on the weight rating?
Thanks, Bill
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Old 05-26-2008, 02:55 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerowood
I just ordered a new dexter axle (it should be here on the 30th) and there was only a few choices on the down angle 22.5 and then 35 but you can also order the with extra profile on the mount angle and I did order with 1 inch. I believe 3 inches is available also.

When you say profile, is that additional distance between the axles and the frame of the trailor?
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Old 05-26-2008, 07:09 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airdog
... Do you have any suggestions on the weight rating?
Thanks, Bill
Go to your local crushed rock dealer or truck stop and weigh it. If you don't get a certified weight, it might be free or $5. For the purposes of axle bearing capacity, you don't need total weight, just the weight on the axles, so make sure your tow vehicle is off the scale. If they aren't busy, maybe you can disconnect and get a total weight, also. Once you get the axle load, subtract the weight of the tires, wheels, and swing arms and add in all the stuff you'll be putting in the Airstream, including water.

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Old 05-26-2008, 08:11 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airdog
Which did you go with (22.5 or 35)? Which would you reccomend for a 72 31 foot sovereign? Do you have any suggestions on the weight rating?
Thanks, Bill
I went with 22.5 as that was original, Its your choice but I wanted to match the original as I feel that I would get better and smoother articulation of the trailing arm suspension at the lesser angle. My AS also had a what is called a high profile which means that the axle is 1" lower then the frame member giving the trailer a higher profile. I ordered mine with a rating of 4500 lbs as I will most likely increase the original weight with the addition of grey water tanks, larger fridge, dual batteries, etc. The original was rated at 4200 lbs and it was stamped on the axle data plate.
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Old 05-26-2008, 09:16 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeppelinium
Go to your local crushed rock dealer or truck stop and weigh it. If you don't get a certified weight, it might be free or $5.
Here's a great link to a DOD website for locating a commercial certified scale nearest you in all 50 states. I found one in San Antonio open on Sundays, $8.50 per weigh including a guaranteed weight.

Scale Locator
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